Belarusian altnet VELCOM, part of the A1 Telekom Austria Group, is reportedly considering plans to expand in the regions and acquire other providers. Yandex cites the firm’s deputy general director Anton Bladik as saying that the telco – which is actively building out a GPON network in Belarus’ regional centres and major regional cities – is keen to expand its operations both in Minsk and elsewhere, and is considering buying other operators to do so. VELCOM, which includes recently incorporated firms Atlant Telecom and TeleSat, is capable of providing Belarus with internet speeds of up to 10Gbps, he said. ‘At present, the maximum speed among home users is [limited to] 100Mbps. And this speed is more than enough for any needs and requests of customers’, Bladik noted. ‘However, the technology allows to increase this speed to 200, 500 megabits, one and even ten gigabits per second, without significant work,’ he added.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in April 2017 VELCOM announced the launch of a ‘large-scale’ rollout of GPON broadband, having initially constructed a pilot project in Bobruisk, deploying GPON technology to more than 23,000 apartments. Having begun buildouts in Minsk, plus regional and district centres, in June VELCOM hooked up about 3,000 apartments in Zakharov, Pulihova, Pervomayskaya and Antonovsky. In November VELCOM said it would expand its GPON network in a number of new cities in 2018, including Brest, Polotsk, Novopolotsk and Zhlobin, targeting covering 180,000 apartments.